The physical condition in which rapid discontinuation or dose reduction of a
drug causes a withdrawal reaction.
Physical dependence is frequently confused with, or mislabeled as addiction.
Physical dependence is a physiological state whereas addiction is a
dysfunctional psychological and behavioral syndrome.
Addiction refers to the ability of the drug to dominate the individual’s
behavior, regardless of whether physical dependence is also produced by the
drug. Indeed, physical dependence does not accompany all forms of drug
To read about this term in context:
GreenFacts Summary on Psychoactive Drugs Tobacco, Alcohol, and Illicit Substances: